Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 35759872
Link to DOI – 10.1146/annurev-micro-041020-024935
Annu Rev Microbiol 2022 Sep; 76(): 727-755
Methane is one of the most important greenhouse gases on Earth and holds an important place in the global carbon cycle. Archaea are the only organisms that use methanogenesis to produce energy and rely on the methyl-coenzyme M reductase complex (Mcr). Over the last decade, new results have significantly reshaped our view of the diversity of methane-related pathways in the Archaea. Many new lineages that synthesize or use methane have been identified across the whole archaeal tree, leading to a greatly expanded diversity of substrates and mechanisms. In this review, we present the state of the art of these advances and how they challenge established scenarios of the origin and evolution of methanogenesis, and we discuss the potential trajectories that may have led to this strikingly wide range of metabolisms.